SA Big Dogs set to tussle for KZN Amateur glory

The 2013 KwaZulu-Natal Amateur Championship is set for an exciting final with the SA number one and defending champion Haydn Porteous going toe-to-toe with the country’s number two ranked amateur, Zander Lombard, at Umhlali Country Club on Sunday.

Just two days after his successful title defence in the Stroke Play qualifier, Porteous booked his berth in the final to line up his ninth victory this season.

However, the Modderfontein golfer could be in for a tough challenge to secure the double for a second successive year in the 36-hole show down.

Lombard defeated Durban Country Club’s Elton James 4 & 2 in the first round and disposed of Gregory Royston from Cotswold Downs 2 & 1 in the second round.

The Pretoria golfer defeated Nigel’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout 2 & 1 in the quarterfinals to set up a semi-final clash against Andy Dill, after the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington dispatched Durban Country Club’s Ryan Birnie 4 & 3.

Lombard was simply superior. The 18-year-old reeled in three birdies from the first, added another at the sixth to turn 5-up and birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th to seal his spot in the final with a 7 & 5 result.

Porteous took out Phumlani Mkhoma from Port Shepstone 5 & 4 in round one and defeated Chris van der Merwe from Prince’s Grant 6 & 4 in the second.

He downed Bryce Bibby from Royal Durban 4 & 3 to advance to the semi-finals against NJ Arnoldi from Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate, who in turn won his semi-final match against Country Club Johannesburg’s Eddie Taylor at the 18th hole.

Arnoldi, who successfully defended his Highveld Amateur Open title earlier this month, took the early lead with back-to-back birdies at the opening holes, but Porteous managed to square the match against the Ekurhuleni golfer with a brace of birdies at the seventh and eighth holes.

Porteous birdied the 12th to move 1-up, both players birdied the 13th, but Porteous kept his advantage going with pars until Arnoldi lost the match with a bogey at the closing hole.

Kyalami’s Porteous has certainly been the man to beat this season and the prospect of winning the KZN Amateur double for a second successive year is sure give his campaign a little extra impetus.

However, Lombard has come close with two runner-up finishes and two third place this season. Although he won the 30th Bank Windhoek Namibia Open Golf Championships at Windhoek Country Club in April, the Pretoria golfer will looking to break his title drought at home and exact some revenge in Sunday’s final after being beaten by Porteous in the Boland Open earlier this month.

Click HERE to see the Stroke Play results.

Click HERE to see the Match Play scoring and results.

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